Note: High amount of hiss on tape; Program distorted at times; High background noise on tape; All parts cut off at the end.
Description: "Tape 1 Side A pp. 1-20
Martha Austin (maiden name Taylor) was born in Los Angeles in 191 3 and came to the Owens Valley in 1920. The family settled at Hogback Creek, and Martha attended school at George's Creek. She recalls other families and their ranches in the area, including Indians from the Shepherd family. Her grandparents (named Fox) had homesteaded there in 1900; their livelihood came from honey bees, fruit, and alfalfa. Martha describes helping with the bees. Most neighboring ranches grew alfalfa. The family shopped by ordering from Ralph's in Los Angeles. Her father began work for the City of Los Angeles in 1920. She describes their home at Hogback; a teacher from the school lived with them. She describes the location and interior of the George's Creek school and recalls the subjects taught; the school was governed by parents in the area. The Strohmeyer family lived near the school. For social life, the family went to Manzanar for church and Sunday school and visited with the Lydston or Albers families.
Tape 1 Side B pp. 20-39
Martha and her brother Vic went by horseback from Cottonwood into Ramshaw Meadows to spend summers at the Albers' and Schabbell's cattle camp. Her mother helped doctors in the area deliver babies, but went to Los Angeles for treatment of her own illness. Wood from nearby hills was used for heating and cooking, domestic water came from wells, and lighting was with kerosene lamps. Laundry methods were primitive. The family went to Saturday night dances at Manzanar. Her mother picked apples and worked in the packing plant. Most packers were women; many were brought in from outside the valley. Martha describes the packing operation and location of the plant and other buildings in Manzanar. She recalls the storekeeper, Mr. Bandhauer, and his family. Homes of families she remembers were scattered throughout the Manzanar area, each with its own orchard. The Wickiup was a fruit stand on the highway near the store. Some people at Manzanar were reluctant to sell to the City of Los Angeles, but got good prices. Many lost their money in the failure of the Inyo County Bank. She recalls Indian Susie Shepherd who lived at George's Creek in a wickiup.
Tape 2 Side A pp. 39-59
Attempts were made to move the Indians at George's Creek to the Fort Independence Reservation, but Indians returned to their settlement; the Indian men worked on nearby ranches. Worked as an extra in two films made in Owens Valley and describes seeing movie stars in Lone Pine. She met Death Valley Scotty there also. The family moved to Lone Pine in 1924; she describes reluctance of some ranchers to sell to the City of Los Angeles. Her family continued to hunt, fish, and camp. Her father worked on the ledger for the City and later in the DWP shop at Independence. Lone Pine in the 1920s was active because of the Anaconda and other mines operating and the movie companies in town. Baseball teams were in each community, including Keeler and Trona; league games were played on Sundays. Semi-pro players from Los Angeles were hired to play in some games. Her husband, Red, played semi-professional baseball in the San Francisco area until moving to Independence. He helped build up the Independence ball team; she describes locations of the ball fields in Lone Pine and Independence. Games in Trona were all-day outings. Red began work as a laborer for the City of Los Angeles in 1929. He took Civil Service exams and was head of personnel for the DWP in Independence until he left the City in 1950.
Tape 2 Side B pp. 59-77
The Austins were married in 1930 and felt the Depression, but few people lost jobs. Fewer women worked then; the DWP and the County were main employers of women. She recalls the Levy family who ran the Independence Hotel and the Schaefers who ran the Winnedumah Hotel; City and other government employees stayed there. Martha began work for the County Assessor 's office in 1945, and visited homes and businesses throughout Inyo County. She describes Keeler and visiting Lillian Hilderman. During the war years, the Austins rented a room to an MP and others connected with the Relocation Center. She recalls going to dances and softball games tor Manzanar employees. She believes the townspeople resented internees fishing in local creeks. Red Austin was an early tire commissioner in Independence and helped purchase the town's first tire truck. He campaigned throughout Inyo County in an unsuccessful run for Inyo County Sheriff in 1938. He bought the drugstore in Independence in 1950 and inherited a large inventory of old medicines. The soda fountain and milkshakes became famous with visitors from around the country. Red also sold rabbits during the war and later sold appliances. He began the cable TV venture in 1959.
Tape 3 Side A pp. 77-83
She describes Red Austin's hard work and long hours in bringing TV to Independence and maintaining the system. She reflects on changes in the Owens Valley and recalls fishing on Independence Creek; her father and Vic Taylor hunted deer near Manzanar. She believes there is less water and fewer green areas in Owens Valley now. Businesses in Independence are almost completely dependent on tourism."
Call Number: ECM, OH115
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